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The most important question in customer success: Why DID they choose us?

April 10, 2017 | Brian Driggs | No Comments |

Everybody has an answer. But who’s really right?

We all work hard. That’s a given. And we all want to feel like our contribution matters. Asked why the customer signed the contract, everyone’s got a different answer. Let’s see how those answers compare.

Seriously. Why DID the customer sign the contract?

  • Sales – We always be closing. That’s why we drink the coffee around here.
  • Marketing – We introduced them to our offering and invited them to get in touch.
  • Executives – We leverage best-in-class technologies to alleviate key customer pain points.
  • Customer – I want to route the internet through a little black box.

So who’s right, here?

Surprise. EVERYONE is right. There are numerous touch points across every deal—many are often invisible, depending on perspective.

  • Without executives leading the charge to get quality products/services to market, marketing would have nothing to talk about.
  • Without marketing feeding the funnel content designed to communicate value to prospective customers and invite them to make contact, sales would have nothing to do BUT drink coffee all day.
  • Without Sales engaging prospective customers around their real, actual needs, there would be no customers.
  • And if the customer didn’t want that little black box, we’d all be out of a job.

Why can’t we all just get along?

These differing perspectives can quickly escalate to the point where Sales and Marketing are engaged in a playground shoving match which, if you remember middle school, could lead to taking things outside to the bike rack. Or the flag pole. Cash me ousside, dude. 

Part of the problem is we all speak different languages. It’s not that any of us wants a confrontational workplace. We’re just really into what’s right in front of us. It’s what we know best. It’s what we were hired to deliver. It’s important we tie what we do to real, actual revenue. We all want to feel the work we spend more than half our lives doing matters, but we need to change how we see our contributions within the lens of the business. The question becomes how do we go about that change in ways everyone more or less agrees with?

How do we make everyone happy?

It takes more than superficial platitudes and motivational posters. It takes understanding. If you’re in Marketing, you need to understand how Sales thinks and what matters to them. If you’re in Sales, you need to understand how Marketing thinks and what matters to them. And, if you’re an executive, you really need to understand how well your Sales and Marketing teams are aligned so you can make sure everyone understands how they serve the customer—past, present, and future.

It takes change.

Everyone wants change. Everyone wants to be seen as a change agent; a true player. It starts with uniting the entire team behind a meaningful sense of purpose. Bring everyone together to identify all the touch points, agree on a data-supported order, and then divvy them up accordingly—with the understanding of when and how each team will be notified the ball is in their court. This is the threaded approach driven by a solid, account-based strategy.

Back to that contract question.

When everybody gets along, asking everyone why the customer signed the contract could look like this:

  • Sales – We worked with Marketing to build a powerful, custom report for the customer.
  • Marketing – We worked with Sales to tailor the report to the customer’s specific needs.
  • Executives – Sales & Marketing introduced us and we discussed the report over dinner.
  • Customer – They showed me how the blinking light makes the internet faster.

Everybody wants to be a change agent. Success comes from a deep understanding of what matters to others—and consistently making an effort to help them achieve more of what matters to them. Give everyone a chance to deliver their best work and truly shine.

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